Kolkata-based Mantra installs Canon imagePRESS c8000VP

imagePRESS installation crosses 100 in India

Puneet Datta, Senior Director- Professional Printing Products, Canon India with Amit Roy from Mantra Designers and Printers.

Kolkata-based Mantra Designers and Printers recently installed a Canon imagePRESS c8000VP. The press was inaugurated by Amit Roy, proprietor of Mantra Designers and Printers, and Puneet Datta, senior director of Professional Printing Products (PPP), Canon India. The Canon imagePRESS c8000VP which has over 100 installations across India. can handle a variety of jobs on different substrates, yielding good image quality.


“Kolkata is an important market for Canon, and we have installed multiple machines in this market in the past few months. We are excited to reinforce our footprint in West Bengal with the installation of imagePRESS c8000VP in Kolkata. The imagePRESS maintains high productivity and delivers vibrant output by smoothly integrating into existing workflows. We are positive that the installation of this press will prove to be a milestone in the growth journey of Mantra Designers and Printers and will further help them to gain strong acceptance among customers,” says Datta.


The risk-averse Eastern market

Roy set up his first printing unit, named Trishool Printers, that currently has a Xerox Versant 180 digital press, a Roland eco-solvent inkjet printer, a solvent-based flex printer, and a lamination machine among others. Mantra Designers and Printers is a new plant that Roy set up near his first plant.


“I have been in the printing line for almost 12 years now. Over the years, I noticed that all the machines installed in Kolkata were entry-level only. Usually, the size of an entry-level press is pretty small, and the cost is very less,” says Roy. The costing of an entry-level press is only one-fourth of that of an industrial unit. The reluctance to invest in higher-end presses clearly shows the risk-averse tendency of the Kolkata market.


“With time, we realized that digital printing demand is increasing leaps and bounds. We’ve witnessed new units coming up in the market. And despite an increase in the number of units, the demand didn’t fall. We then realized that this is a huge opportunity for us to gain market share, especially because the entry-level presses are only good for a small quantity of printed work,” Roy adds.


Mantra’s courageous step of installing a Canon

According to Roy, Canon has a comparatively smaller installation base in Kolkata. In fact, he claims that the decision to install a Canon was pretty courageous. In November, Roy came to New Delhi along with his team to research on which press to buy for his new plant. The collective feedback from the New Delhi market indicated that Canon was indeed the most reliable brand. “The print quality of Canon was superb, its processing time was much shorter, and even though the price was a tad higher, the output of a Canon press was much better.”


“Hence, even though the company has a smaller install base in Kolkata, we decided to install it. In fact, when I informed Canon that I have decided to purchase the imagePRESS c8000VP, they were pretty surprised. I told them that it looked to be the best available option in the market, and that is the reason why I’ve decided to buy it,” Roy informs.


Media versatility, shorter makeready time and print consistency

Roy’s first plant Trishool has two digital presses. In January, Trishool supplied nearly 50,000 printed sheets. “In that unit, with changing the thickness of media, there has to be a long halt. While processing a somewhat bigger order of 200 prints, there are nearly 4 – 6 halts on those presses. Here in Mantra, we notice that there is no stoppage. And while changing the media, the stoppage time of Canon press is one-tenth of that of the others. While switching from 300 GSM to let’s say 170 GSM, the press requires cooling, and the new Canon press comes with an internal cooling system that allows faster changeover times. The print consistency of the new press throughout the run is also pretty good. Usually, corporate companies are very finicky about the print consistency as compared to other companies. But looking at Canon’s ability to maintain the print quality even in a 700-copy run, our corporate customers are extremely pleased,” Roy concludes.


2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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